York Minster’s bell tolls 99 times for the Duke of Edinburgh

Cathedrals offer prayers and pay tribute to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh

The Great Peter Bell at York Minster tolled 99 times today marking the years of the late HRH Duke of Edinburgh’s life.

The BBC will broadcast an Evensong from St Paul’s Cathedral at 5pm tomorrow (Saturday) and Gloucester Cathedral was amongst a number of cathedrals who shared prayers and tributes following the announcement from the Palace that His Royal Highness had passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.

York Minster was open for private prayer, reflection and for the lighting of candles with numbers limited to reflect the current Covid restrictions following the tolling of the bell this afternoon.

The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, was due to give a news conference in the Lady Chapel of York Minster followed by a service of Evening Prayer led by the Archbishop and the Dean of York, the Very Revd Dr Jonathan Frost.

Gloucester Cathedral announced it would be open daily between 11.00am and 4.00pm (12noon – 4.00pm on Sundays) for those wishing to say prayers or light a candle. It said special prayers would also be said at services for the next two weeks and a book of condolence is available on the Cathedral website for anyone who wishes to write a personal message.

The Very Revd Stephen Lake, Dean of Gloucester said:

“This is a huge loss to both the nation and the Commonwealth and one which we will all feel deeply for a long time to come.

“HRH Prince Philip has been a constant example in all our lives. We send our deep condolences to HM The Queen and all the Royal family. Let us all give thanks for his long life of Christian duty, public service and steadfast support for The Queen as wife and monarch.”

Blackburn Cathedral is planning to hold a service on the Sunday before the funeral of HRH, the Duke of Edinburgh. Attendance in person will be due to the pandemic so it is hoped it will be livestreamed.

The Dean of Chester, The Very Revd Dr Tim Stratford, also issued a statement.

“His late Royal Highness, Prince Philip, has given outstanding service to our nation, commonwealth and church. He has been the principal support for Her Majesty the Queen during years of stability and prosperity that characterise her reign. His charitable work and patronage, especially the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, has been an inspiration to many including myself.

We celebrate and give thanks for his life praying for his soul and the wellbeing of the Queen and all the Royal family in their mourning.”

During the current restrictions our cathedrals will be open for those wishing to say a private prayer or to light a candle during the day (please check your local cathedral website for times).

The Church of England has launched a special online memorial book which everyone is invited to sign and can be found here.